Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has issued a decision asking provinces and major cities in the Mekong Delta to buy and stockpile a million tonnes of rice during the summer-autumn crop from June 15 to July 31.

The move aimed to help farmers control their harvest schedule and prevent prices from falling further, a plan similar to the for the previous winter-spring crop, he said.

He asked the Vietnam Food Association to coordinate with people’s committees to all crate rice purchase quotas for traders in accordance with rice output from each locality, following market prices.

Dealers would be supported with State budget finance, which would fully cover interest rates for bank loans to buy rice within three months from June 15.

The Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam were to be responsible for guiding the financial support.

Relevant ministries and agencies were tasked to supervise the rice stockpile and ensure it was conducted efficiently and according to regulations.

The Mekong Delta is expected to reap 9.3 million tonnes of paddy rice, equivalent to around 4.6 million tonnes of milled rice.

Currently, paddy rice sells for 3,800-4.00 VND (0.18 - 0.19 USD) per kilo, down 1,00VND (0.05 USD) from the start of the previous crop.-VNA